Thursday, October 25, 2012

COVER REVEAL - Sweet Peril by Wendy Higgins

I have some exciting news for you, my darlings! The cover for the next installment for Wendy Higgin’s Sweet Trilogy is HERE! It’s not being long since it was announced the deal for us to have more Kaidan, I mean, more Sweet Books, and now the cover for Sweet Peril is OUT!
And now, without further ado... Here’s the cover!

Gorgeous, isn't it? I’m so fangirling at the moment it’s not even funny. And yes, I used “fangirl” as a verb. I mean, have you met Kaidan Rowe? Totally appropriate.
Here’s the Blurb:
Anna Whitt, daughter of a guardian angel and a demon, promised herself she’d never do the work of her father—polluting souls. She’d been naive to make such a claim. She’d been naive about a lot of things. Haunted by demon whisperers, Anna does whatever she can to survive, even if it means embracing her dark side and earning an unwanted reputation as her school’s party girl. Her life has never looked more bleak. And all the while there’s Kaidan Rowe, son of the Duke of Lust, plaguing her heart and mind.
When an unexpected lost message from the angels surfaces, Anna finds herself traveling the globe with Kopano, son of Wrath, in an attempt to gain support of fellow Nephilim and give them hope for the first time. It soon becomes clear that whatever freedoms Anna and the rest of the Neph are hoping to win will not be gained without a fight. Until then, Anna and Kaidan must put aside the issues between them, overcome the steamiest of temptations yet, and face the ultimate question: is loving someone worth risking their life?

Publication Date:  April 30, 2013 from HarperTeen.
Book 3 of The Sweet Trilogy, Sweet Reckoning, is slated for spring/summer 2014.

Author Bio:
Wendy Higgins was born in Alaska, grew up an Army brat, and lived all over the United States before settling in the Washington, DC area. She attended George Mason University for her undergrad degree in creative writing, and Radford University for her masters in curriculum and instruction. Wendy taught 9th and 12th grade English in a rural school before becoming a mother and author. She now lives in Northern Virginia with her husband, daughter, and son. Sweet Peril is her second novel.

I could totally die of excitement! If you haven’t grabbed Sweet Evil yet, what are you waiting for?

You can learn more about Wendy’s books here
And follow her on twitter @Wendy_Higgins.  
And like her on Facebook.
And you should also follow @KaidanRowe.
And add Sweet Peril on Goodreads.
Preorder on Amazon
Preorder on Barnes & Noble.
Preorder on TheBook Depository.
Also, like Sweet Evil's Facebook fanpage.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

LOSING IT by Cora Carmack – Review + Interview

To be completely honest with you, guys, this is my first review. Ever. I’m a tad nervous, but it’s quite fitting for it to be about Cora Carmack’s LOSING IT. Why, you might be wondering, yes? Well, to answer this question with another question… Have you read the blurb? In case you haven't, here it is: 


Bliss Edwards is about to graduate from college and still has hers. Sick of being the only virgin among her friends, she decides the best way to deal with the problem is to lose it as quickly and simply as possible-- a one-night stand. But her plan turns out to be anything but simple when she freaks out and leaves a gorgeous guy alone and naked in her bed with an excuse that no one with half-a-brain would ever believe. And as if that weren't embarrassing enough, when she arrives for her first class of her last college semester, she recognizes her new theatre professor. She'd left him naked in her bed about 8 hours earlier.

Every review of LOSING IT I’ve stumbled across describes with hilarious accuracy Bliss and her craziness, so I thought I’d dig a little deeper. As a genre, New Adult is only emerging and it might still take a long while for it to get proper recognition, so today’s “new adults” don’t have nearly as much representation as teenagers in contemporary literature. Just yesterday I was reading an article about the evolution of YA, and it boggles the mind that what today is such a large market in the literary community, twenty years ago wasn’t even recognized as a genre. In this emerging market, let me introduce you to Bliss Edwards.

She’s very smart, very passionate and very pretty. And she is also what we’d call a late bloomer. The first pages alone are successful at painting us her worldview. And when her blood pressure rises (that would be when we meet Garrick), you are already panting right along with her. The storytelling is that good.

Garrick is a delight. How often have you crossed paths with a male protagonist who is swoon-worthy but also comes across as real? Let’s face it: one of the greatest appeals of current YA novels out there is that they give us the “perfect” fictional boyfriend we are all waiting to find in our everyday lives. I don’t know about you, guys, but I’m personally still waiting. Garrick is this blond British guy, who owns a motorcycle and teaches theatre. Yeah, I know. How much hotter than that can we get, right? There are these little things, though, that make him real. You’ll find yourself rooting for him, and at some points wanting to yell at him: “What the hell is wrong with you, man? Don’t be such an idiot. She’s totally into you!” You’ll be surprised to notice his hotness is barely an afterthought, something that’s in the background but not the center of the story. To me, that’s gold.

My favorite part, by far, is one of Bliss’ moments of utter lack of grace. I don’t want to be spoilery, but it involves alcohol – lots of alcohol. And it feels important to mention this: Bliss’ frequently-mentioned awkwardness is not her being clumsy or having brain-not-engaged moments. She’ll make you laugh with smart thoughts (like when she uses this Shakespeare reference of the ‘beast of two backs’ that’ll make you cry with laughter), and ridiculous excuses that could actually happen (like when she adopts Hamlet… you’ll SO love that cat). And overall just being real.

Also, I love books that make me want to learn new things. LOSING IT is filled with theatre references that serve as metaphors of the romantic entanglements of these two (On that note, you might want to take a look at the play Phaedra). And if you’re not into theatre, you’d still find plenty of situations that will make you swoon.

One quick last thing before I forget… the secondary characters are all pretty amazing, but there’s this guy that takes the cake. In fact, my first thought when I finished reading the book (after my heartbeats slowed down to normal rates, that is) was… What about HIM? I’m not going to tell you his name. But promises have been made *eyeing Cora surreptitiously, except not really eyeing her seeing as we haven’t actually met* that we’ll get his follow up story next year. You’ll want to know. Believe me.

If you’re still not totally convinced LOSING IT is worth reading, I have a very special guest here that, if you’re a hot-blooded creature, will make you reconsider. Let’s all welcome Garrick Taylor to the stage…

 Me: First of all, lovely to meet you *handshake*. Tell me a little about yourself, Garrick.

G:   Hello Johana, it's lovely to meet you. Well, I'm an actor. Oh, and I'm English. Bliss always says I should lead with that, but I think the accent makes it fairly redundant. Since I was little, I've always loved a challenge. That's what's so great about theatre-- every day at the office is different with a new part to play or a new audience or new obstacles. It makes for a very interesting life, which I suppose is the most I can ask for. 

Me: I have a healthy respect for a man that loves a challenge. Speaking of, I've heard some interesting things about Bliss. What can you tell me about her?

G: Ah, Bliss. I mentioned that I love a challenge, right? She's definitely that. I won't pretend I have her all figured out. She's a complex girl and I like that. She's hilarious, but takes life very seriously. She's ambitious, but indecisive. She's very intelligent, but well, in the time I've known her she's certainly made some... interesting choices. She's sexy (even though she always makes this funny face when I say that). From the moment we met, I knew if anything could keep my life interesting, it would be her.

Me:   *Stares intensely at him* Oh, my! And what crossed your mind when you found out Bliss' role in your new job?

G: Christ, that was a bad day, wasn't it? Oddly enough, it took me a bit to really figure out what had happened. I stood there staring, coming up with all these crazy reasons that she could be there. When I realized she was a student, I was just gutted. I mean, the night before had ended poorly, but I'd planned to go round to her place after I got off work, see if I could smooth things over. Needless to say, that didn't happen. 

Me: You've told me about Bliss, now I want to hear about you. What made you pursue a career in theatre? Did someone influence your decision, or is it just "your call"? Heavens know, it's a challenging path.

G: Now, Johana, are you forgetting how I feel about challenges? *grins* How I became interested in theatre is actually a funny story. I wanted to play rugby when I was younger. My mum is a bit overprotective, so she was appalled. After a few injuries, she got it in her head that she needed to provide me with a more cultured upbringing. She started taking me to plays, hoping the arts would turn me into a proper gentleman. Instead, it turned me into an actor. I'm not sure I've been entirely proper since. 

Me:  Oh, believe me, I haven't forgotten. I promised my readers we'll discuss some particular subjects. So… Do you cook?

G: I do not, not well at least. Don't be too disappointed, ladies. What I lack in the kitchen, I make up for in other rooms. 

Me:  Oh my God. I.. I mean.. Well. Thank you for that visual. And who cares, right? There are always delivery services. And how were your first experiences (OMG *blushes*) in America? I mean, in the theatre scene and all?

G: Visuals, eh? I'm a tactile person myself. I learn best through touch. But you asked about my first years in America. Well, I moved when I was 18. It was an adjustment, certainly. A culture shock in many ways, but I loved it. It didn't hurt that American girls love a guy with an accent. My first show was actually The Importance of Being Earnest. I had a leg up there considering I already had the dialect down. I love England, but I'm happy here in the States. Very happy. 

Me: And what's your favorite play of all time?

G: Now you've done it. It's your fault if I go on too long. Favorite is a hard thing to pin down. I remember my life in plays-- which stories were most important to me at different times. Over the years I've called many shows my "favorite." Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett, Hamlet, The History Boys by Alan Bennett, All my Sons by Arthur Miller, The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams, and the musical Sunday in the Park with George just to name a few. These days though... I'd say my favorite is Phaedra. 

Me: I heard Bliss is doing pretty good career-wise… But what are your plans on the long term?

G: For my career or Bliss? I've got big plans for both I'd say.

Me: I am glad to hear that. It's all about the passion you feel for what you do, no? Any words of wisdom for aspiring actors out there?

G: Approach life the way you would approach portraying a role. Discover what you want, and go after it. Don't give up when your objective isn't met in the first scene. Try harder. Change your tactics. Obstacles make life interesting. If a character were to back down from a challenge, it wouldn't be a very interesting play. The same goes for life. 

Me: That's an amazing advice. I'm definitely looking forward to hear more about you, guys. Thank you infinitely for joining me for this interview.

You are very welcome, Johana. It was lovely to meet you. 

Now how about that? Still not decided? What are you, a paraguayan trying to decide who should win the elections in America based on your twitter feed? Oh, wait... That's me. Sorry.

Monday, October 22, 2012

First Page Critique - The Haunted Clinic and Contest

So I run into a bit of unexpected trouble, and it caused me to delay my scheduled first-page post. If I told you about it, you wouldn’t believe me. It involved a broken internet satellite, some burned cookies and a dog. You get the picture, I’m sure.

Anyway... Here it is. The dreaded First Page (capitals felt necessary). I hope it’s not too late and there are some of you kind spirits that would aid me in my hour of need. I promise to return the favor as soon as I get rid of the burned-cookies smell that plagues my apartment after a whole week of the previously mentioned but not quite explained incident. And you know what’s the fun part? It’s not even a joke.

Now let’s get down to bussiness...

Chapter One (First Page)

The day the Threader was buried, attendance to the funeral was mandatory for everyone over eighteen at the Capital.
As I made my way through the crowd of silent mourners, I struggled not to let go of Mara. Mother would kill us if we lost each other in the throng of people. She’d been reluctant enough to let us come to the Capital alone for the Sentinel’s Yearly Recruitment Assembly. Threader Karena dying while we visited had been an unpleasant coincidence.
I conveniently forgot to check in with her this morning because something told me she would not be pleased to know we smuggled our way into the funeral. Call it an educated guess.
Good thing our little town was hours away or else I'd fully expect her to come drag us back home.
The procession was slow and tortured. Most citizens didn’t know the Threader personally, but her good actions toward the people were notorious. You could feel it in the air, the heartbreak of the people.
I admit it. I wasn’t so much sad as I was morbidly curious to see which one of Karena’s daughters-in-law became now our sole ruler.
I wanted to be a part of the procession so bad that Mara thought I was crazy, yet she came with me.
The selection was supposed to take place the minute the former Threader was buried; we couldn’t afford to be unprotected any longer than necessary. And rumor had it, it was a spectacle to behold; that the magic threads and different layers of the world made themselves visible not only to the new Threader, but to everyone near her. 
I glanced back, and saw the face of my fair-skinned sister drenched in sweat, strands of red hair sticking to her forehead, even with the dull sunlight painting the town grey. Mara had always had a delicate complexion, and while it did not in any measure mar her stunning features, it did prove to be a disadvantage when physical activity was involved. Her cheeks were flushed and if I didn’t know her like I do, I’d say she was excited to be here, which she wasn't in the least. But we were a team. She had to come with me, just as I went with her to that boring theater function the other night. She’d been ecstatic. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Haunted Writing Clinic and Contest 2.0

First of all, thank you all who've been kind enough to give my last query a read and suggestions. Here’s the newest version. 

What do you think, minions and supervillains?

Dear Supervillain: 

Seventeen year-old Aria’s plans for becoming a Sentinel come to a halt when her twin sister Mara connects with the magical threads of their world, becoming the new Threader of Aragua. The problem? They are not royals.

Some threads of Aragua are untangling, losing pieces of the world to different dimensions. Aria discovers her world is dying because of a curse set by a vengeful goddess. To top it off, she is supposedly destined to bring the missing pieces back. She cares little about superstitions and myths, but when Mara weakens and falls into an abiding sleep, she has to try. If she doesn't, her sister will die and the world will be lost.

In her search for answers, she walks straight into the heart of the curse, which links the seven sons of a past Threader to the original curse. She begrudginly accepts the help of the two most solicitious brothers. Together, they track down the missing pieces of land, uncovering a centuries-old plot to break the Threader’s bloodline.

With characters inspired by the old guarani tale of Tau and Kerana, The Curse of the Seven is finished at 80,000 words and has series potential.

Monday, October 08, 2012

The Haunted Writing Clinic and Contest

There is nothing SCARIER than rejection, so this Halloween face your fears by entering our spooky writing clinic and contest. Not only will you get help crafting your submission package, you’ll have the opportunity to win a chance at publication by Curiosity Quills Press.
There are two types of bloggers involved:
Minions: Writers with query ready manuscripts.
Super villains: Published and pre-published authors from Curiosity Quills.
Each super villain will be assigned a team of minions to mentor. Each team will have a spooky name and theme. The super villain whose minions get the most requests from the judges will win bragging rights as villain supreme. 
Now, doesn't that sound intriguing? Some of you have already read my query from GUTGAA, but life's all about taking chances, right? And given that I didn't make it in ANY round at GUTGAA becuase the slots were filled in like, a nanosecond, I'm seeing this as a new opportunity to improve my query. Well, without further ado, here's my query for The Curse of the Seven, fellow minions and supervillains :)
Dear Supervillain:
Seventeen year-old Aria’s plans for becoming a Sentinel come to a halt when her twin sister Mara connects with the magical threads of their world, turning into the first Threader out of royal bloodline in the history of Aragua.

But some threads of Aragua are untangling, losing pieces of the world to different dimensions. It all turns out to be part of a curse set upon the former Threader Karena by a vengeful goddess. Aria realizes that not only the Empire is in danger but her only sister’s life as well: Mara’s mission of weaving the threads together is at risk.

To top it off, Aria is supposedly destined to bring the missing pieces back. She cares little about superstitions and myths, but when her sister weakens and falls into uninterrupted sleep, she knows at least she has to try.

Being the last links to the original curse, Karena’s seven sons are essential in solving the issue with the threads. Aria begrudgingly accepts the help of the two most solicitous brothers; arrogant, handsome Jael and sweet, caring Liam. The trio tracks down the missing pieces of land, uncovering in the process a centuries-old plot to break the Threader's bloodline. 

With characters inspired by the old guarani tale of Tau and Kerana, The Curse of the Seven is finished at 80,000 words and has series potential.